Millennium Bowl Online

What are the rules for Millennium Bowl?

In December of 1998, at a house in Newtonville, IN, a star was born. Matt and Mike, college football fans, decided that simply watching bowl games was not enough.

We got our hands on the local paper (the Evansville Courier) and saw the entire lineup of college football bowl games. We thought it would be fun to play the entire schedule using EA Sports' NCAA Football 1999 on the Sony PlayStation. We proceeded to play all 24 games over the next few days, and while our efforts in playing the games were complete, sadly the recordkeeping was severely lacking.

The next season brought exciting changes. The First Annual Bowl Season, as it was known, was a moderate success, but we were not content to rest on our laurels. Noticing the popular obsession with the coming of the next millennium, or more accurately, the coming of the year before the next millennium, I had a moment of clarity: our Annual Bowl Season would be hereafter referred to as Millennium Bowl. Not only does this give elegance and importance to our ongoing bowl seasons, but it also helps to emphasize the divide between the First Annual Bowl Season and all future Millennium Bowls.

Further adding to the mystique, in December of 1999 there remained but one small sheet of paper from the First Annual Bowl Season documentation; this record has since been lost. The only fact regarding the lost text which is agreed upon is that it contained the score of each of the BCS bowl games from the First Annual Bowl Season, included among which is the infamous 1998 Orange Bowl.

The name was not the only new characteristic of Millennium Bowl, however. First, the games were played using NCAA Football 2000 on the Sony PlayStation. Second, we decided to much more extensively document the games. As stated previously, our stats from the First Annual Bowl Season were very shoddy. We recorded only the teams, bowl game, score, and which person controlled each team. In Millennium Bowl, we planned to record the score by quarter, leading rusher, receiver, and passer for each team, and any miscellaneous comments we may have about each game. We also instituted a policy barring others from directly participating in Millennium Bowls - a decision which was not well received. In fact, this caused Millennium Bowl to be referred to as - according to Nate - "horseshit." Nonetheless, the mistake of letting external parties play Millennium Bowl games had the potential of destroying the purity of the contest, much like the 1919 World Series scandal could potentially have killed professional baseball in America.

Millennium Bowl was an even bigger success than the First Annual Bowl Season. For the first time, there was hype leading up to a bowl season, and while not everyone shared our enthusiasm, even the most vocal opponents of Millennium Bowl grudgingly respected the warrior mentality that we poured into it.

As the autumn of 2000 approached, there was a building level of interest in Millennium Bowl III. The selection of this name was difficult. While this would be only the second incarnation of Millennium Bowl, it would be the third bowl season. We needed a name which encompassed not only the majesty of Millennium Bowl, but one that also paid due respect to the First Annual Bowl Season. The options "Millennium Bowl II" and "3rd Annual Bowl Season" were unsatisfactory; the first could cause the First Annual Bowl Season to be forgotten, the second fails to retain the power of the name "Millennium Bowl." Using the name Millennium Bowl III is a way to incorporate both the significance of the First Annual Bowl Season as well as the power of Millennium Bowl. Now, the term Millennium Bowl can be used to refer to a bowl season in general, or all seasons taken as a whole. The versatility of the name Millennium Bowl is its prime benefit.

On the horizon were some very crucial questions; questions that would direct the future of every subsequent Millennium Bowl: How much of a spectacle should it be? Are we content with our current system? Is Millennium Bowl too much, or not enough? The answers? A big spectacle. No, we are NOT content with the current system. And finally, Millennium Bowl, for all its triumphs, was simply not enough. I liken it to the pre-Constitution Articles of Confederation. Better than what preceded it, but not nearly strong enough.

As Millennium Bowl III approached, plans were laid for yet another improvement in the bowl season format. The level of statistical recording was to be greatly increased: stats included each team's rushing, passing, total offense, turnovers, 3rd and 4th down conversions, time of possession, and penalties, as well as statistics for each individual ballcarrier, receiver, and passer -- basically, every stat that the game kept track of.

When others heard of the plan, they dismissed it as too "over the top"; what they failed to realize was the extent to which Millennium Bowl III would be enhanced. In addition to extensive statistical recordkeeping, we also planned to record every game on VHS cassette. By moving the PlayStation output to the TV via a VCR, we were able to tape the games. This was not enough, though; we also set up a camcorder to record us playing the games. At first, we allowed a third party to be the Millennium Bowl cameraman, but we quickly decided against it, a decision which may have been erroneous.

What is next for Millennium Bowl? What changes will surface in Millennium Bowl IV? Only time will tell, but make sure to check back for updates!